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The Good, Bad, and Ugly Report: Virginia

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Sometimes there is only one number that matters - the scoreboard.

Virginia moved the ball up and down the field against UNC but the Tar Heels built a comfortable lead and held off the 'Hoos for a 28-17 win. Carolina goes to 3-0 on the season and while you never like to nit-pick a win, this one wasn't very pretty, other than the final score.

Here is this week's GBU report:


Dwight Jones: The senior wideout is clearly emerging as one of the ACC's best receivers. Five catches for 85 yards and a TD will work every week, thank you very much.

Gio Bernard: How can you not enjoy watching this guy run? Gio ran for 102 yards on only 12 carries. But on a run-heavy day where there were nearly twice as many running plays as passes, Bernard only carried 12 times out of 41?

Ball security: Glad to know last week's five-turnover outing was a fluke. A bobbled center-QB exchange was the only mark on the turnover blotter this week.

Matt Merletti: Two interceptions for one of the great guys on the team.


Team Defense: UNC gave up nearly 500 yards of total offense to the Cavaliers, including nearly 300 through the air which should have been more if UVa's receivers could catch some passes. Only the fact that Carolina won keeps this from being in the "Ugly" category.

Interior run blocking: I remain amazed how 6 foot 7 inch, 300-plus pound guys cannot open holes between the tackles. Except for one series in the 3rd quarter when A.J. Blue was in and UNC was apparently actually landing inside trap blocks, the offensive line has a heck of a time on the interior. Yet again, most of UNC's yards on the ground come on the edges.

Casey Barth's injury: Barth's assault on his brother in the UNC record books is slowed as Barth couldn't even finish the game kicking extra points. He hasn't kicked off all year, but this further aggravation of his injury is a tough blow for the senior.


The stat sheet: UVa outgained Carolina 468-401, and led in 1st downs and time of possession. UNC was a rotten 3-12 on 3rd down conversions, punted seven times, and fumbled away a sure scoring chance inside the Wahoo 5-yard line. But given it was a win, you can throw the stat sheet in the trash and just point to the scoreboard. But at some point, that ugliness will catch up with you.

Pam Ward: You truly have not experienced awful announcing until you watch a game called by Pam Ward. There is a reason the fantastic website Awful Announcing names its awards for bad sports announcers "The Pammies". A Pam Ward broadcast is so full of missed player names and missed spots that she is flawless in correcting her errors.

So UNC begins the season 3-0 for the second time in 3 years, but 1-0 in the ACC for the first time since 2000. After a very solid opener against JMU, the Heels have won twice but won ugly (but make no mistake - ugly wins are better than pretty losses). Carolina will finally hit the road for two brutal games at Georgia Tech and ECU and the good feelings that have come from a 3-0 start can quickly fade if UNC returns to Kenan in 3 weeks at 3-2. Plus, given the efforts today by Clemson and Miami, Carolina's October suddenly looks even more challenging. Nevertheless, UNC is 3-0 and is surviving and advancing.